LIV GOLF SINGAPORE: GOOCH (64) LEADS AGAIN; HYFLYERS GRAB TEAM LEAD

Round 1 Highlights | LIV Golf Singapore

Not even a 2-1/2 hour weather delay could cool off Talor Gooch’s red-hot stretch of golf, as last week’s LIV Golf Adelaide winner grabbed the first-round lead for the second consecutive week.

Gooch’s bogey-free 7-under 64 gave him a one-shot advantage after Friday’s opening round of LIV Golf Singapore presented by Resorts World Sentosa. His closest pursuers are Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith and Cameron Tringale, with Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Louis Oosthuizen two shots back.

It’s a leaderboard stacked with big names at the top, as eight major winners are inside the top 12 at Sentosa Golf Club. They’re all chasing Gooch, the RangeGoats GC star who opened with record-setting 10-under 62s in the first two rounds at Adelaide en route to his first LIV Golf individual victory.

“There’s no pixie dust I’ve thrown on the clubs the last couple weeks,” Gooch said. “It’s just the game comes and goes in waves, and hopefully we can continue to ride this wave for as long as we can and play a bunch of good golf.”

Leading the team leaderboard is HyFlyers GC, which comes off its best result of the season, a fourth-place finish in Adelaide. Tringale’s 6-under 65 was the team’s best score, with captain Phil Mickelson (66) and James Piot (70) in support for the 12 under cumulative score. The South African Stinger GC is one stroke behind at 11 under, with Ripper GC, Smash GC and the RangeGoats tied for third at 9 under.

“It’s fun to see our captain playing so well,” Tringale said of Mickelson, the six-time major champ who earlier this month tied for second at the Masters. “This golf course is fun. A lot can happen quickly.”

Friday’s round was delayed after 12 holes due to severe weather in the area. The lengthy delay did not slow down Gooch, who birdied the par-4 13th before finishing his round with an eagle at the par-5 18th when his second shot from 253 yards finished inside 30 feet.

Gooch was 20 under through 36 holes last week in Adelaide, and entered the final round with a 10-shot lead. Given the bunched-up leaderboard behind him, Gooch is not concentrating on leads but just wants to maintain his good play.

“I have a buddy of mine that has been like a mentor to me since I was 10,” Gooch said, “and he always said, ‘In golf, the penthouse and the outhouse are always right around the corner from each other.’ You try not to get too high or too low when things are too good or aren’t good. You’ve got to earn it. 62s and 64s don’t just happen, and just because you’re confident doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again.”

With severe weather in the forecast for the weekend, the shotgun start for the final two rounds has been moved up. Saturday’s round will start at 8:15 a.m. local time (8:15 p.m. ET Friday) while Sunday’s round will start at 8:05 a.m. (8:05 p.m. ET Saturday).

Cameron Smith & Phil Mickelson

TEAM COUNTING SCORES

Here are the standings and counting scores for Friday’s opening round of the team competition at LIV Golf Singapore presented by Resorts World Sentosa. The three best scores from each team count in every round for their total team score. The team with the lowest cumulative score after three rounds wins the team title.

1. HYFLYERS GC (-12): Cameron Tringale 65, Phil Mickelson 66, James Piot 70

2. STINGER GC (-11): Louis Oosthuizen 66, Charl Schwartzel 69, Dean Burmester 69

T3. RIPPER GC (-9): Cameron Smith 65, Marc Leishman 69, Matt Jones 70

T3. RANGEGOATS GC (-9): Talor Gooch 64, Bubba Watson 70, Thomas Pieters 70

T3. SMASH GC (-9): Brooks Koepka 65, Jason Kokrak 67, Chase Koepka 72

T6. IRON HEADS GC (-8): Kevin Na 68, Danny Lee 68, Scott Vincent 69

T6. 4ACES GC (-8): Patrick Reed 67, Dustin Johnson 69, Peter Uihlein 69

T8. TORQUE GC (-6): Mito Pereira 67, David Puig 70, Joaquin Niemann 70

T8. CRUSHERS GC (-6): Bryson DeChambeau 66, Charles Howell III 69, Anirban Lahiri 72

10. FIREBALLS GC (-5): Sergio Garcia 65, Eugenio Chacarra 71, Abraham Ancer 72

11. MAJESTICKS GC (-4): Henrik Stenson 69, Laurie Canter 70, Lee Westwood 70

12. CLEEKS GC (E): Richard Bland 70, Bernd Wiesberger 71, Martin Kaymer 72


Talor Gooch Round 1 Highlights | LIV Golf Singapore
NOTES

CAM’S POST-ADELAIDE 65: Last week was a busy one for Ripper GC Captain Cameron Smith, with the reigning Open Champion juggling many off-course demands as the face of LIV Golf’s wildly successful debut event in Australia. Smith tied for third in Adelaide but admitted the week had left him tired. This week is more low-key for Smith, who was 3 under in his first four holes Friday.

“There’s definitely been a few less media requirements this week, so that was kind of nice,” Smith said. “We obviously traveled on Monday and had a really easy day on Tuesday, and I think not only myself but the rest of the boys on the team, as well, were pretty tired. We needed those couple of days, I think, just to kind of chill out and make up on some sleep. Seems like all the other boys played really well again today.”

In shooting 65, Smith hit all 14 fairways in regulation. “I definitely can’t remember the last time I hit 14 fairways,” Smith said.

SERGIO LIKES SENTOSA: Fireballs GC Captain Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club in 2018, so it’s no surprise he started off well this week. He eagled his second hole, the par-5 fourth, and followed with two birdies before settling in for a bogey-free 65.

“It’s a course that I enjoy,” Garcia said. “It’s a course that I like. I feel like if my game is a little bit on, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, give yourself a lot of birdie opportunities, and then the greens are so pure that if you’re rolling it with a little bit of confidence, you can make some putts. It’s that kind of golf course.”

TRINGALE ON A ROLL: Last week, HyFlyers member Cameron Tringale posted his best finish, a tie for third in Adelaide. He’s never played in Singapore before this week, and he wasn’t sure that Sentosa Golf Club was his type of course – but that didn’t stop him from posting his second 65 in his last three rounds.

“My game has been feeling good,” Tringale said. “I’ve been trending nicely. Played well last week. The state of my game is good, but as far as being a course that really fits my eye, I wouldn’t say this is it.”

Explained Tringale: “My ball flight, I’ve got to fight it on a few holes. I tend to play left to right, but a lot of the tee shots and particularly some of the tougher ones want you to hit it right to left, so it was going through that battle internally of should I hit what this hole wants or the shot I’m comfortable with. And I’m going with the latter.”

MAJOR CHAMPS LURKING: Of the 11 players chasing leader Talor Gooch, eight are major champions. One of those is four-time major champ Brooks Koepka, the winner of LIV Golf Orlando who finished tied for second with Phil Mickelson at the Masters.

Asked why the top names have such a big presence on the leaderboard after 18 holes at Sentosa’s Serapong course, Koepka said: “I just think it’s a ball striker’s golf course. I really do. I think to win a major championship you’ve got to be a good ball striker. You’ve got to put the ball in play off the tee. Here it’s pretty crucial because if you’re in the rough you’re going to catch some fliers, and you’ve just got to leave yourself some good opportunities from the fairway, and then from there, you can get it quite close. Big enough greens, and these greens are just so pure that you can roll it in pretty easy if you just start it on line.

“Yeah, I think that’s probably more the reason why.”

BURMESTER’S RECORD STREAK: Stinger GC’s Dean Burmester extended his streak of three-putt avoidance to 234 holes. That sets a new LIV Golf all-time record, eclipsing the streak of 233 holes by Fireballs GC’s Carlos Ortiz.


RD. 1 STAT LEADERS

Driving distance – Bryson DeChambeau, 345.4-yard average

Longest drive – David Puig, 382.1 yards (18th hole)

Driving accuracy – Cameron Smith, Louis Oosthuizen, 100 percent (14 of 14)

Greens in regulation – Charl Schwartzel, Henrik Stenson, 94percent (17 of 18)

Fewest putts – Louis Oosthuizen, 25 putts

Most birdies – Patrick Reed, 8

Bogey-free rounds – Talor Gooch (64), Sergio Garcia (65), Brooks Koepka (65), Cameron Smith (65), Charl Schwartzel (67), Mito Pereira (67), Danny Lee (68)

Feature Group Round 1 Highlights | LIV Golf Singapore

LIV GOLF SINGAPORE UPDATED START TIMES FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

Due to forecasted weekend thunderstorms, the shotgun start times for Saturday and Sunday have been updated.

Gates will now open at 7.00am both days with shotgun starts at 8:15am on Saturday, April 29 and 8:05am on Sunday, April 30 (all times local).

The live broadcast will begin at 8:00am both days.

*Credit Information & Images www.Livgolf.com

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